Many people today are still confused about the effects of marijuana. While there are still plenty of campaigns against using the drug, the fact that some states in the country have been working to make it legal has caused much uncertainty, especially among young people. Regardless of whether a person feels marijuana should be legal or not, studies have concluded over and over again that marijuana hinders coordination and mental awareness, and it is dangerous to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.
A recent study done by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) found that many young people today do not believe marijuana is dangerous to use, nor are they concerned about it affecting their ability to drive. The study found that nearly one in five teens say they have gotten behind the wheel after smoking pot. Another study showed that of 50,000 drivers, motorists who smoked marijuana within three hours of getting behind the wheel were twice as likely to have a car accident, compared to sober motorists, according to CBS News.
More Awareness for Drugged Driving
Even though many people are finding medical marijuana to be beneficial to managing pain and anxiety, marijuana is still dangerous and illegal, and should be treated as such. Marijuana causes memory loss, impaired judgment, and weakened perception, which can be very dangerous to someone trying to operate a vehicle. Parents should be aware that teens are not as concerned as they should be about the effects of marijuana on their ability to drive safely.
It is important for parents to talk with their teen and give them the facts about marijuana. Parents can also help their child by giving them ways to stay out of dangerous situations, by encouraging them to call home for a ride rather than ride with a drugged friend, or helping them find other activities that don't involve drug abuse.
Not only is marijuana illegal and harmful to a developing mind, it can cause impaired driving and accidents. Parents can make a difference by talking to their teen and teaching them how to stay safe.